Chiropractic and Prescription-Based Medicine

Chiropractic and Prescription-Based Medicine

The word “prescribed” which literally means “pre-written” describes anything that modifies or controls natural biology or behavior. In the case of prescription drugs, the behavior being controlled applies to the chemical functions of the body. Taking a drug is like enforcing a new “rule of behavior” on natural chemicals in the body. The drug is preconceived to make biology operate in a specific manner. For example, “Thou shalt not re-uptake serotonin” is the injunction dictated by anti-depressants designed to control the behavior of certain brain relays that handle the dispersal of serotonin. Another example is antibiotics designed to limit the body’s microbiome. It demands that “No bacteria or micro-organisms live and re-produce.”


Pharmaceutical drugs are hard enforcement agents of biological chemistry whereas holistic or naturopathic medicines are like tolerant advisers, offering supportive measures but never forcing anything to happen. For example, the herbal supplement Turmeric which can relieve inflammation and pain will help to calm the pain receptors in the body, whereas the drug Oxycodone will simply demand that all pain receptors “go to sleep until morning.”

The benefit of Chiropractic is that it is not a prescription based approach. There is no preconceived agenda in chiropractic care. Fundamentally, chiropractic does not seek to modify biological function or offer new demands on behavior at any level, rather it does the reverse–it takes those demands off the body, at every level.

Whatever the cause of disease may be, the express purpose of chemical interventions such as drugs is to modify chemistry, placing strategic road blocks on certain functions or augmenting others in order to create desired, often temporary, results. Not all “prescriptions” are detrimental or unwarranted, but they do alter the natural, autonomous functions of the body by design. Chiropractic brings us in the opposite direction. It serves to correct misalignments to the nervous system allowing autonomous function to operate without obstructions.

Subluxations, or misalignments to the nervous system, come in many forms. They demand changes on the body’s information transportation system. Subluxations can be the result of physical injury, chemical insults to the body, or they can be emotional in nature. Their deleterious affect on the body’s ability to function varies on the kind of subluxation and its intensity. It can be said broadly that subluxations are anything that diminishes healthy expression in the body. However, healthy expression is not the same as being “symptom free” (This will be discussed in a future article.)

Chiropractic gives a new, refreshing angle on what it means to be healthy. It approaches health with a keen eye on interferences that obstruct the body’s core operating system–the nervous system. It’s not that chiropractic modifies nervous system function, which would put it in the “prescriptive” category. Rather chiropractic frees up normal physiological function. Often, after corrections are made, this normal functioning spontaneously emerges and health is achieved like never before. There are unlimited possibilities afforded to our life and its ability to express health once our nervous system can operate with its maximum capacity as it was designed to.

The difference between chiropractic and prescription based medicine can be summarized in the following way. Prescriptive measures seek to modify the body. Chiropractic corrects for misalignments so that the body’s innate intelligence can perform modifications and adaptations on its own.

In the context of modern medicine, chiropractic is a breath of fresh air.

-Pathways to Family Wellness